[This article appeared in Great Pianists on Piano Playing
James Francis Cooke, Theodore Presser, Philadelphia, 1913, pages 181-194.
It was first published in The Etude
in two parts in
October 1911 and November 1911, both available on this web site
and not reproduced here. The editor's introduction, given below,
is slightly different from that in the earlier publication.
This web version is dated 1 February 2006.
by Vladimir de Pachmann
Vladimir de Pachmann was born at Odessa,
Russia, July 27, 1848. His first teacher was his
father, who was a musical enthusiast and a fine performer
upon the violin. The elder de Pachmann was a
Professor of Law at the University of Vienna and at
first did not desire to have his son become anything
more than a cultured amateur. In his youth de
Pachmann was largely self taught and aside from
hearing great virtuosos at concerts and modeling his
playing to some extent after theirs he had no teachers
until 1866 when he went to the Vienna Conservatory
to study with the then celebrated teacher, Joseph
Dachs. Dachs was a concert pianist of the old school.
Academic perfection was his goal and he could not
understand such a pupil as de Pachmann who was
able to get results by what seemed un-academic
means. After one year with Dachs de Pachmann
toured Russia with great success and since then has
made repeated tours of the entire musical world.
He never gave any serious attention to musical
composition. As an interpreter of the works of
Chopin no one in recent times has ever excelled de
Pachmann, but he also gave numerous recitals
showing a great breadth of style in the performances of
works of the other great masters particularly Brahms
(The following conference was conducted in English,
German, French and Italian.)